Obedience & Aggressive Behavior Classes

Are you having aggression problems with your dog?

  • Does your dog bark & lunge at other dog, animals, or people in a threatening way?
  • Are you afraid your dog is going to hurt another person, animal, or yourself?
  • Is your dog possessive of food, space, or you?


You could have a major liability on your hands!

A dog's bark may be worse than his bite, but most of us would rather not find out one way or the other. Growling, baring teeth, snarling, snapping, and biting are all aggressive behaviors-but dog aggression includes any behavior meant to intimidate or harm a person or another animal. Although these messages are among the handful of communication tools available to dogs, they're generally unacceptable to humans. Because humans and dogs have different communication systems, misunderstandings can occur between the two species. 

What You Can Do:

  • First, check with your veterinarian to rule out medical causes for the aggressive behavior.
  • Seek professional advice. An aggression problem will not go away by itself. Working with aggression problems requires in-home help from an animal behavior specialist.
  • Take precautions. Your first priority is to keep people and other animals safe. Supervise, confine, and/or restrict your dog's activities until you can obtain professional guidance. You are liable for your dog's behavior. If you must take your dog out in public, consider a cage-type muzzle as a temporary precaution, and remember that some dogs are clever enough to get a muzzle off.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to situations where he is more likely to show aggression. You may need to keep him confined to a safe room and limit his contact with people.
  • If your dog is possessive of toys or treats, or territorial in certain locations, prevent access and you'll prevent the problem. In an emergency, bribe him with something better than what he has. For example, if he steals your shoe, trade him the shoe for a piece of chicken.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. Intact dogs are more likely to display dominance, territorial, and protective aggressive behavior.

What NOT to Do:

Punishment won't help and, in fact, will often make the problem worse. If the aggression is motivated by fear, punishment will make your dog more fearful, and therefore more aggressive. Attempting to punish or dominate a dominantly aggressive dog may actually lead him to escalate his behavior to retain his dominant position. This is likely to result in a bite or a severe attack. Punishing territorial, possessive, or protective aggression is likely to elicit additional defensive aggression.

Because working with aggressive dogs can be potentially dangerous, behavior modification techniques should only be attempted by, or under the guidance of, an experienced animal behavior professional who understands animal learning theory and behavior.

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Classes

What is the CGC Program?

The Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program was started in 1989 by the American Kennel Club. All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome to participate in the CGC program. The following description is offered on the AKC's website:

The CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

The Canine Good Citizen Test

 The goal of the CGC Class is to prepare your dog for Canine Good Citizen Test, which includes the following sections: 


 

  • Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
  • Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
  • Test 3: Appearance and grooming
  • Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
  • Test 5: Walking through a crowd
  • Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
  • Test 7: Coming when called
  • Test 8: Reaction to another dog
  • Test 9: Reaction to distraction
  • Test 10: Supervised separation

Click here for a description of each test item and to learn more about the CGC Test.